I had the opportunity to take my wife to Botswana on a 7 day bow hunt in the Kalahari this past October. Just returning from a 70 day deployment to Afghanistan, I was so excited to share this hunt with my wife. This would be Jen’s first trip to Africa, and my 5th.
In my line of work, mistakes can be very costly. This is true for hunting big game in Africa as well. I knew I had to be dialed and confident. In Africa, the hunting blinds are super hot, which added an element that I wasn't use to. Growing up whitetail hunting, the heat was never that extreme, and so I needed to be mentally and physically ready for opportunities that came.
On one of the days, while approaching a choice blind, a herd of zebra were quenching their thirst. It was an amazing sight. As we were taking in the beauty that Africa had to offer, an old grizzled waterbuck suddenly came into view. Majestic. A veteran of many a hunting season stood fearlessly in front of us. At 40 yards with daylight slipping away I drew back. Cheating a quick glance at my wife, I took a deep breath and settled the pin on his front shoulder. As the string released the arrow flew straight and true hitting its mark.
Perhaps it’s my years in the military that make me appreciate these moments so much. The time spent in a blind with the person I love the most, and the anticipation of being a father, created a recipe that I will never forget. I will hang on to this experience for the rest of my life and look forward to one day sharing the adventure with my son.